[SIGN OF THE TIMES]In a move called "an economic-type decision," Shelton State has dropped Alabama's only junior college to offer women's soccer as a scholarship program.
Shelton State had twice reached the final 16 of the NJCAA Division I women's tournament, and Coach Nellie Christian, who is on maternity leave and will be re-assigned, earned her 100th career victory in 2008.
Craig Threlkeld, Shelton State's director of public relations, told the Tuscaloosa News that dropping soccer will save the school at least $100,000 per year.
"Basically, the reason for it is purely economic, given the cuts being made across the board in the two-year system," Threlkeld said. "When Shelton State added soccer, it was with the hope that other two-year programs in the state would add it as well. From a cost standpoint, it was one of those decisions that had to be made. It's unfortunate because the program had been successful. The players had done well on the field and in the classroom. Nellie did a good job with the program."
The program began in 1997 with a team of 12 players.